You are on visit to a small village in France, but don't speak a word of French. Imagine if you could download a program to your brain and converse with locals. And what if could later remember that trip in perfect detail. After solar-powered homes and cars along with SpaceX ventures, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has another visionary but outlandish plan for humanity; Neuralink.
\”In the future, you will be able to save and replay memories. I am talking about, this really is sounding increasingly just like a Black Mirror episode.\”
Elon Musk says you'll be able to store your memories like a backup and download them right into a robot body. It sounds like a science-fiction, but Neuralink believes it might reach that goal eventually having a chip. Brain-Machine Interface or BMI Chip, a tool that connects your mind to some computer. But before chasing these superhuman goals, Neuralink is focused on one thing; ending human suffering.
All of our senses sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste are electrical signals sent by neurons to the brain. But may the signals are not wired correctly. Neuralink wants to re-wire the circuit so that the paralyzed walk, the blind see, the deaf hear in addition to treat other neurological disorders such as depression, insomnia, Alzheimer's.
The battery lasts a full day and could be charged inductively while you sleep, possibly by wearing a nightcap, based on musk. The prototype differs from the 2021's, that certain required an external earpiece whereas the most recent version involves only the chip relaxing in the skull.
\”It's a lot like a Fitbit inside your skull with tiny wires.\”
Neuralink's wires or threads are Ten times thinner than human hairs and represent electrodes. The electrodes determine 'what's happening in the brain' by reading the signals sent by the neurons and then stimulating as numerous neurons as possible. Fraxel treatments isn't new but what makes Neuralink drastically different from other neural interfaces is it will insert much more electrodes to stimulate neurons on a scale never witnessed before. As the comparison 'Utah Array' is recognized as among the best BMIs available right now and it has been used to study conditions like epilepsy. It's around 100 electrode channels. As the current form of Neuralink has a lot more than 1000 electrode channels and perhaps much more in the future.
Also, the threads are thinner and more flexible, greatly lowering the risk of piercing blood vessels and potentially causing catastrophic damage. But that doesn't mean humans can handle the precision necessary for surgery. At the eventual price of several thousand dollars towards the patient, surgical robots could eventually do the entire operation in under an hour leaving the chip relatively concealed.
\”All you could see afterward is really a tiny scar. And if it's under your hair, you cannot view it at all. Actually, I could have Neuralink right now and also you wouldn't know. Maybe I actually do.\”
That's unlikely since human trials haven't begun but they have tested on animals. One of the demonstrations continues to be done on the guinea pig named \”Dorothy\”. Dorothy used to have the device but no more and she or he seems to act normal much like \”Joyce\” (another pig with no chip). Plus there is \”Gertrude\”, the 3rd one that had an implant for two months. They were reading her brain activities and beeps; which are the signals in the area of her brain associated with her snout. So when she ate or sniffed the straw, the activity turned up on the graph. The implant has also helped the team predict the limb movements of a pig on a treadmill with what they referred to as a high amount of accuracy. However it still remains seen how individuals will react to it.
Neuralink still has to obtain a stamp of approval from the US Food & Drug Administration to begin human trials gear toward helping those with spinal-cord injuries controlled through the computer.
\”We'll make this as safe as you possibly can. Just as with Tesla, while it is legally easy to ship a one-star car, the only cars we make are five stars. We maximize safety and we'll go ahead and take same approach here at Neuralink.\”
There is a science of chaos at the young company. Former employees told Stat, an American health-oriented news website that rushed timelines were often clashing with science's slow pace. Musk said this past year, \”We hope the trials could begin by no more 2021\”, which seems highly unlikely. There are also the privacy issues that scientists have been urging governments to deal with including what data should be collected and just how it will be kept safe. So it will probably be a long time before this comes a reality.
However, Neuralink has intends to expand rapidly. At its headquarter Fremont, California, it has a massive space only 100 employees. Within a few years, Neuralink careers be prepared to go to 10,000 employees which may be more than the number of staff currently at SpaceX. Even though the scientists and engineers will continue to work toward curing brain disorders, that's not the key reason musk created Neuralink.
Musk has repeatedly spoken from the fear that humans will be overtaken by artificial intelligence. In line with the hypothesis when AI becomes super-intelligent, it may be difficult or impossible for humans to control and potentially lead to our extinction. So his solution is to sync up the human brain with AI and create a symbiotic relationship.
Symbiosis refers to the art of just living together. We see this anyway and also the mutually beneficial relationship between your sea anemone and clownfish. For instance, the anemone provides shelter for that fish as the fish provides nutrients and protects it using their company predators.
In the same way, humans and AI can grow together. Although Musk has numerous ambitious projects on the go, Neuralink seems different than others. SpaceX really wants to develop a city on mars changing where we live. The Boring Clients are building underground tunnels changing how we travel. But Neuralink changing us, causing us to be in lots of ways superhuman.
\”The future's destined to be weird.\” Which may be an understatement.
Rakesh K. Mahto
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